It's been billed as the biggest film of the year and perhaps it will be, but it has some stiff competition from the likes of Harry Potter coming this winter, so let's see if Eclipse really deserves that prestigious title.
The vampire and werewolf love saga has been bitterly disappointing so far with a dull first instalment and a hideously depressing second. Add to this some excruciatingly painful running times of over two hours and you have death by celluloid.
But perhaps I'm being a little unfair; this third instalment has been based on perhaps the most exciting book of the four in the series so it already has a good starting point and some convincing performances from the actors really do make this film a huge leap ahead of what preceded it.
The storyline to this film is pretty much non-existent but director David Slade does a good job of turning zilch into another depressing, but well made two hour love fest. Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan) and Taylor Lautner (Jacob) return as the three main leads and their love triangle becomes even more confusing this time around, with frowning faces and awkward kisses galore. Add to this an army of newborn vampires ready to rip the very flesh of Bella Swan's bones and it's getting pretty tense down in Forks.
Sadly, even with a whole army of vampires and werewolves fighting in the finale, this small increase in action doesn't take away from the fact that the film drags in more than one place with blocks of dialogue that feel as if they're going to last a lifetime. It's unfortunate as the action pieces look excellent and the CGI, especially in the werewolves has improved leaps and bounds between New Moon and Eclipse. This shamefully vain dialogue with unnecessary close-ups of Robert Pattinson's face, Kristen Stewart's eyelashes and Taylor Lautner's chest are surely there just to appeal to the female fans and do nothing to progress the story.
It is these main three characters that hinder the film; their stilted dialogue and mediocre acting overshadow the rest of the cast who are all superb. Newcomer Bryce Dallas Howard playing red head vampire Victoria is seriously underused along with the whole Cullen flock who are not given enough room to breathe between the heavy central dialogue. Their acting is fantastic, why not use them more? Thankfully, it isn't all tears before bedtime with some well-timed comic humour from Bella's dad, Charlie. Played by Billy Burke, he is the only character of the used variety that leaps off the screen and he does so well, playing to his strengths as an actor.
Overall, Eclipse moves the game on but only very slowly. David Slade has crafted a beautifully shot movie with some excellent action pieces; but it still remains dull as ditch water because of bland performances from the lead cast and chunky dialogue. It's bound to please fans but biggest film of the year? I think we'll be seeing a certain boy wizard holding that honour for 2010.